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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/10/2005 8:32:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2005 8:34:17 AM EDT by NorCal_LEO]
I have been thinking this one over. Being prior enlisted, I have seen both ends of the spectrum as far as quality and respect for the man as opposed to the metal on the shoulder.

My question is: What is your opinion as to what makes a capable military officer? Pick a great historical military leader or one you have worked for or with. Are the traits for a superior leader impossible to "learn" and must be possessed? Are prior enlisted officers more "in tune" with the troops? What is the proper balance of education, experience and values?

O's and E's please chime in with your opinions... add examples from your experiences.

NorCal
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 11:24:56 AM EDT
Leadership is all about training. Sure some people have personalities more sutied to it, and it takes intelligence - but fundamentally it is education and training.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 12:21:07 PM EDT
We'll see....I start Army ROTC next week.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 12:25:00 PM EDT
training, and some natural leadership ability are both important, but experience is the most important. what i learned in the military is that you only know how to be a platoon leader after you are done being a platoon leader, you only know how to be a planning officer till you finished being one... natural ability will help in many occasions, it will be impossible without training, but until you actually have done it, you will never be good at it. thats the scariest part, looking back at a tasking and in hindsight seeing that you really had no clue what you were doing alot of the time.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 6:45:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2005 6:47:58 PM EDT by Sukebe]
I noticed this thread when the title was leadership. That's a complicated subject. However, Officers are made. Plain and simple. Good officers, bad officers, it doesn't matter. They are made in ROTC, OCS, direct commission or the prick factory (West Point)). As far as leadership goes, rank has nothing to do with it. I've known many officers that I wouldn't follow to the mess hall. Simply put, if you have what it takes, men will follow you. Leadership traits are learned over a lifetime and become part of a man's character and personality. A man with solid leadership traits can appear to be a born leader. But it's all in the raising. Leadership principles are taught and sometimes even learned if the student is willing. The application of sound leadership principles helps the man with solid leadership traits become a good leader.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 6:54:06 PM EDT
Sorry, I thought you were talking about a Police Officer, if that were the case I would have suggested Hatched.

Link Posted: 8/11/2005 9:44:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2005 9:45:31 PM EDT by MachinegunManiac]
It's a combination of both. You have to have skills beyond your training to be a great officer which you're still not born with. Just something you develop in your life. YOu can see this from officers that have undergone similar training.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 9:52:35 PM EDT
Both and neither.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 10:17:17 PM EDT
Prior service does not necessarily a good officer make. Some of the worst officers I've met were prior service...and they treated their troops like dogshit. It was like they thought that now they were better.

The true mark of a an officer or other leader is when he or she comes to the realization that his/her job is to be responsible. This realization is key. It happens sooner for some than others. Some will never really get it. And I don't mean "responsible" in the simplest sense of the word. Your job as an officer is not to just be in charge and give orders, although these things take place as a matter of course. But, putting everything else in front of your self interests and ego. Your troops, your mission, etc. I truly believe that Robert E. Lee said it best when he said that "Duty is the sublimest word in the English language."
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:04:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
It's a combination of both. You have to have skills beyond your training to be a great officer which you're still not born with. Just something you develop in your life.


+1 for this.

Best officer I ever served under came to us fresh out of OCS, and one of the first things he told us at
the 'Meet & Greet' was "I'm new at this, so you're going to have to show me the ropes" more or less.
Treated us fair, backed us if we caught flak for doing what we were supposed to do, regardless if
somebody else didn't like it, etc. Great guy, on duty or off.

The worst was another brand-new officer, just out of college/ROTC/OCS, who thought that because
he had the gold bar and the piece of paper to hang on the wall, that he was Lord above all of us
NCO/EM-enlisted types, who might not have the pretty piece of paper. He also turned out to be the
biggest dumbass that I ever ran across the whole time I served, active or guard. He was the officer,
so he knew better than the enlisted.... after all, he had a degree, so that qualified him to internally
tune the power on the Bn Commander's radio.. (Colonel was still calling him 'Sparky' when I
ETS'd, and was under direct orders from the Colonel not to TOUCH a radio, unless absolutely
necessary.)
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:11:35 AM EDT
i guess it depends on what kinda officers we're talking about.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 12:48:02 PM EDT
Every soldier is a combination of personality, experience, and training.

Lets face it, some people have charsima and intelligence. Some dont...

Prior enlisted experience is definately a plus IMHO.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 12:08:51 PM EDT
Natural ability is just as important as training, some people are natural born leaders and others are leaders because of rank and training with no natural ability. I will take the natural over the "trained" any time.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 12:19:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2005 12:20:07 PM EDT by PlaymoreMinds]
Sgt E-5 chiming in:

Training and an ability to lead...not everyone who knows how to get the job done can get the men/women needed for the task ON task. Officers that I've respected (both male and female) were the ones who were not afraid to get their BDU's dirty.
Bottom line, you'll never be able to effectively get someone to follow an order that you yourself will not implement.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 12:23:28 PM EDT
Personally, I think there is definately at least a moderate amount of natural ability. Also though, training and grooming is essential in being a good leader, or officer.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 12:26:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2005 12:31:29 PM EDT by cmjohnson]
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 5:01:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 3:56:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OrionSix:
Leadership is all about training. Sure some people have personalities more sutied to it, and it takes intelligence - but fundamentally it is education and training.



Thats a load of shit. Are you an officer? You must be with that handle.

Leadership is a natural ability born into a person. From grade school on everyone has noticed that some people are leaders and some are followers. You go to school to learn different leadership techniques, not to learn leadership. Every enlisted guy out there knows an "O" or even a senior NCO who is book smart and could qoute chapter and verse from 22-100 and 101 (I think those are the leadership FM's) and give you the play by play of the battle of gettysburg, but couldn't lead a girlscout troop into Chuck E. Cheese to order a pepperoni pizza without fucking it up.

Don't kid yourself, Leadership is a natural ability not a learned one.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:48:50 PM EDT
I think being a decent leader can be learned if one is willing and has the personality but great leaders are natural born. You can tell if someone is going to be a great leader even before they're an officer. I've known many great leaders that were enlisted. They didn't go to school for leadership, they were just that way.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 9:14:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 9:15:42 PM EDT by MQ-1_Spec]
I've worked for Captains and I've worked with O-3's. Through the 6+ Maintenance OIC's I've worked for in the last 2 years only 1 was an O-3. The rest I would do anything and go anywhere they ask. (all prior enlisted too).
There are leaders and there are supervisors and then there are those who can do both.
Leadership is a virtue, it can be learned. It starts at a younger age and progresses as you mature. Learning through living.
I like to think of myself as a good leader, even though I am an E-4. (E-5 select) And apparently my supervisors seem to think so too by nominating me for the Lance P Sijan Award. Hope to make Cheif one day, not E-9.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 11:06:27 PM EDT
I'm with Playmore on this one. There were only 2 officers that I would have followed anywhere.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 5:50:35 AM EDT
Leaders are born, officers are made. You can't make someone a leader, but you can make them an officer.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:58:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sgt_Gold:
Leaders are born, officers are made. You can't make someone a leader, but you can make them an officer.



Absolutely. Great way to word it.
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